Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Death Spiral

Last night I had the pleasure of watching several hours of Olympics with a friend who is a figure skating enthusiast. Okay that's an understatement. She's a giddy, giggling, stars in her eyes fangirl. As someone who only occasionally watches skating, I had to say I was surprised and taken in by all the drama. The world of men's competitive skating resembles a nest of snakes. Of course the media is playing it up - even so, from snarky challenges to extreme costumes ranging from corsetsto overalls
(sidenote: Cinna would put them ALL to shame - if you don't know who Cinna is for goodness sake get to your library/bookstore and read Hunger Games!) this icy arena is not for the timid.

It got me to thinking about the nature of fandom. Our favorite books, music, art reflect something about our personalities. We enthuse not only because of our deep love for say BUFFY, but also because the relationship of fan to art creates a sense of ownership and participation.

The Olympics is spectatorship on a global scale. I wonder if our favorite Olympic events are a little like those personality quizzes (What Gossip Girl are you? What color is your aura?) My skatefan friend is a fashionista and film scholar and as we watched the drama unfolding on the Olympic ice her enthusiasm for the event made a lot of sense.
My favorite winter Olympic event is pairs skating.

I love the beauty of the symmetry in their skating, the cooperation, the lifts, the throws - but my favorite moment lasts less than a minute. It's the death spiral.I wait through every program for this brief component, which to me is the perfect balance of strength and surrender. And the name? Brilliant!

Loving the death spiral as I do seems a perfect encapsulation of my writing style - I write characters who struggle with power and relationships. I love romancy angsty rollercoaster rides of relationships and the pairs skating programs evoke a similar tension.

What do you think? Do our Olympic event allegiances say something about who we are?


  1. Oh, boy, you got me with this post! Pairs skating is my favorite, too. The sheer beauty of it combined with strength, coordination and trust is overpowering. I think I'll watch that video clip again so I can get goosebumps and sigh. Thank you!

  2. So what what does it say about me that my favorite is freestyle skiing. Specifically the moguls. Two jumps and a bunch of bumps.

    Make of that what you will...

  3. Tricia - Yay!

    Lisa - I think it means you are adventurous and awesome :)

  4. Oh.... I love the death spiral too... both in writing and in figure skating. It's drama in movement at its best. Poetry!!! Not lame poetry either... like Edgar Allen Poe type of poetry. Poe has the death spiral down. :)

  5. Poe is so the master of the death spiral!

  6. Salutari, din Romania !